A Louisiana woman was injured when the Ford Explorer in which she was the right front passenger rolled over following the tread separation failure of the Firestone Wilderness AT tire positioned at the Explorer’s right rear wheel. When the tire peeled apart, the vehicle was sent into an uncontrollable skid which led to the rollover. As it rolled, the woman’s seat collapsed.
The Wilderness AT tire was among the many millions of Firestone tires recalled following an NHTSA investigation into alarmingly frequent crashes caused by tire failures on Ford Explorers fitted with the tires as original equipment. Unfortunately, due to shortcomings in the owner notification process, many of the dangerous tires were not captured by the recall and instead remained in tire shops and as spares on Explorers, eventually being placed in service.
In the lawsuit brought on behalf of the injured woman, Rob Ammons claims the Wilderness AT tire was defectively designed and manufactured by Bridgestone such that it was not durable. Ammons also alleges that Bridgestone failed to warn of the tire’s defects and about the risks associated with using an old tire, despite adequate tread depth. In the lawsuit, it is claimed that the tire’s advanced age, which was in excess of 12 years, contributed greatly to causing the failure that resulted in the crash. Ammons points out that tires degrade over time, whether or not they are being used.
Three claims are identified against Ford in the lawsuit. First, Ford was heavily involved in the development of the Wilderness AT and then chose the defectively designed and manufactured tire to be original equipment for the Explorer line of vehicles. Second, Ammons alleges that Ford knew a rear tire disablement on Explorers would cause drastic changes in how the vehicles handle, leading to loss of directional control, but that Ford did nothing to remedy the problem. Third, Ford included in the Explorer seatbacks that could collapse in crashes, causing injuries that are easily preventable.
Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas.
The Ammons Law Firm’s practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.